24 hours. 24 hours ago I crumpled into my husband’s arms outside of my parents’ house. Police cars and an ambulance surrounded the house. I knew before my husband spoke through his own tears. I knew someone was dead.
My dad died yesterday. At 57 he just didn’t wake up. The man that walked me down the aisle at my wedding. The man who was always there to help me when I couldn’t figure something out. The man who bought me a hot pink tool set when I moved out of the house. The man who loved fiercely without so many words. The man who has left a huge hole in my heart.
Life will go on without him. That’s the thing about life. It has a magical way of carrying on even when someone’s world ends. It doesn’t care if your dad just died. It doesn’t care about you, in a beautifully tragic fashion. And you know what? That gives me comfort in some strange way. Life will go on. Day after day will continue to trudge by. I know that in time I won’t want to shrink into a tiny ball until I blink out of existence to go find wherever dad went without me.
My dad would always say, “Welcome to my world.” I’m looking forward to the day when I’ll get to hear him say it to me again. In a world that has no end.
I feel like “resolutions” has become a dirty word this time of year. Sure most resolutions are given up by the middle of February, but I still love the concept of resetting, refocusing, and picking goals for the start of the new year. It all comes down to creating a good plan that’ll help you stick with it throughout the next 365 days.
MY GOALS FOR 2020
Lose 20 pounds to regain a healthy lifestyle and build more self confidence
Take a yoga class in a studio
Put at least $5,000 into savings
Spend at least 2-3 days a month with girl friends
Spend one day a month with my family doing an activity together
So how am I going to actually achieve these things? Simple. I’m going to put them in my planner and make time to do them. Like purposely set time out in my day in order to do yoga. I’m mildly obsessed with the new Erin Condren Softbound Planners*
as they’re so easy to throw into a bag and travel with. The quality is top notch but I don’t feel the pressure to make it hella cute to post on social media.
Plus I’ve given my goals clear benchmarks for success. I don’t just want to “save money.” I want to save a certain amount so that when I know when I have an extra $5,000 in savings, I’ve hit my goal. It’s so important to know exactly what constitutes a goal accomplished.
What are some of your goals (ehm…resolutions…) in 2020? Do you have a word for your year? I’m thinking mine is going to be purposeful.
Now if I had to pick a team, I’m definitely team cat. But after two months of watching Cadence, Alex’s parents’ dog, it’s hard not to have a soft spot for pups. It’s been a few weeks now that she’s returned home after their move to Virginia, but she’s definitely left a lasting impression on me and taught me a few things I didn’t expect…
1. Dogs truly know how to be happy. Like all the time. Cadence couldn’t wait to go for a car ride, got excited at every turn, and wanted her head out of the window any chance she got. Happiness just spilled out of her and it’s impossible not to get swept up in it.
2. Definitely get a dog before having kids. I know people say it, but I never knew how true it could be. A dog teaches you a lot more responsibility than cats do.
3. Dogs keep you healthier. I went on so many walks, got myself out of the house, and enjoyed the fresh air so much more thanks to Cadence. Even if we were just hanging out in the backyard, she pushed me to get some air every once in a while.
4. You become weirdly obsessed with their bathroom habits and overall routine. I can’t tell you how often I found myself saying, “Oh she definitely has to poo.” Like my lord. And you know what, I felt proud knowing that information. She became my girl for two months and I learned her every like and dislike.
5. Older dogs are something special. Cadence is nearly a decade old and I loved having an older pup around. She’s so smart, well trained, and listens. Definitely a must. Sure puppies are cute, but there’s just something about a loyal dog who is more than happy to take a nap with you in the middle of the afternoon.
I miss this girl. I’m sure she’s having a blast in Virginia exploring her new home, but I wouldn’t mind if she came back to stay again…
What I eat in a day posts weirdly fascinate me. Am I the only one? I couldn’t possibly be since they pop up on YouTube and in blogs quite often, right? Well I thought it time that I threw myself into the mix…until I realized I eat like a five year old. I almost didn’t post, but then I thought, “nah….let’s keep it real here.” So this is a realistic look at what I eat in a day. Now it’s not EVERY day, but this day in particular looked something like this…
It started with a bowl of Trix cereal. I’ve been kinda obsessed ever since they brought the shapes back. I mean come on. A rainbow explosion first thing in the morning? Who could say no?
I had a busy day of errands so I popped over to Starbucks for lunch. I hadn’t given their grilled cheese a go and it’s honestly quite delicious. Iced chai tea lattes are my lifeblood lately. I feel like I’m officially an adult, running on caffeine and not much else.
I said I was going to keep it real with this post. For dinner I had another bowl of cereal. In my defense, it was a different type of cereal. I could have easily faked it and said we had one of our Hello Fresh or HomeChef meals, but let’s be honest…I couldn’t be bothered to make one. Not all days exclude any actual meals, but this particular day definitely wasn’t my shiny moment in nutrition. So another bowl of cereal and a couple of hours of Stardew Co-Op with my friend Lauren and I called it a night.
How’s that for honesty lol…
Where all my introverts at?! *raises hand eagerly* I love a good night in rather than going through all of the effort to get ready and go out with friends. Plus the mid-westerner in me loves saving money. So gather your gal pals because these 10 girls night in activities are far superior to anything outside of the house.
1. Planner play date. Ughhhh what I wouldn’t give to throw all of my planner supplies in a bag, head over to my friend’s house and sit down for a good planner session. It’s so relaxing to get your planning done (which you have to do anyway) next to someone else. Plus you can share supplies and gush over adorable stickers you’ve been hording.
2. 80’s RomCom marathon. 80s John Cusack is a serious dreamboat. Set up a pillow filled viewing room and turn on Say Anything or any of the amazing movies that came out of the 80’s. Make it a double or a triple feature!
3. Video games aren’t just for the boys. Gather some gals and break out the Switch to play Overcooked or a racing game. I’ve done this a few times and it always ends in serious laughter. And it’s always interesting to see how chill girls are on a team compared to a mixed team or just guys.
4. Wine and cheese pairing party. But seriously…meetup where we bring a wine and cheese pairing? Can that become a thing. Have your friends bring a cheese and a wine to go with it. You’ll feel super fancy tasting wine and cheese together.
5. Cookie swaps don’t have to just happen around the holidays. Each of your friends makes a few dozen of their favorite recipe, get together, and swap. Keep the fun going and have milk with your cookies and catch up.
6. Follow a Bob Ross video. Unless you’re some talented painter, this will end in horrible paintings and a ton of laughs. Wine’s also a must.
7. Watch the Bachelor even if you’re not into it. I go over to a friend’s house every once in a while to watch the show and love it even though I don’t know who is who. The drama is so over the top you can’t help but love it. Plus there are so many commercials you can spend that time catching up.
8. Board games. Ah board games. My favorite way to get a group together. With so many amazing games out there I could go on for post after post, but I’ve always been a fan of cooperative games. Check out Escape the Temple if you’re looking for a good one to play next.
9. Netflix movie pajama party. Netflix is starting to rival the Hallmark channel for cheesy love stories. Throw on your pajamas (even if it’s in the middle of the day) and have your pals over for popcorn and love puns. Has anyone watching Falling INN love yet?!
10. Potluck meal. Have each one of your friends bring a different course to a meal over. Someone brings an appetizer, a salad, a main course, a side, a dessert, etc. You can pick a theme or have people bring their favorites in that category!
This month’s Oh, Hello Box
inspired this blog post! This month’s theme is girls night in and if you need a jump start to your evening it’s the perfect thing. Order yours
before the end of September!
As the summer winds down and my brain evilly reminds me that ‘winter is coming,’ I thought it a good time to test drive some new creative habits to keep me busy during the colder months. Sure you could just pop over to the store and strike up a new creative habit, but I find taking these few steps as the best way to start (and stick with) something new.
First and foremost, do your research. Whether you want to take up kitting or baking, watch some YouTube videos about your interest first. That way you aren’t diving into something that you’ll quickly jump back out of. When I started baking, I read a lot of blogs to see what recipes were the easiest to follow. That way I could have some creative successes under my belt right out of the gate rather than burning a bunch of cookies and losing hope.
Accountability is key when starting any new habit or hobby, so tell people about it! It’s something new in your life so share it with your friends and family. Plus they’ll likely ask you a few months down the road how it’s going. Don’t disappoint and stick with it!
Give yourself a timeline of how long you’re going to try out the new habit before moving on to something else. If you find you just aren’t cut out for hand lettering, move on to something else. But make sure you’re giving yourself a few weeks to a solid month to try it before switching.
One of the easiest ways to start a new creative habit is to schedule it in your planner. That way it becomes a priority and not just something you talk about doing but never get around to it. I like to bake on Saturday mornings, that way I won’t go months without creating something new and delicious. Find a day during the week or a two week schedule so you can actually do this new habit.
Don’t forget to start slow. If you’re like me you’ll want to jump right in and buy everything under the sun for this new hobby. I can’t tell you how many bins are in my basement full of hobbies I thought I would stick with. For real…I couldn’t tell you…start small and work your way up if you find you enjoy the new habit. Start with a simple hand lettering set and expand your collection if it’s something you actually enjoy. That way you aren’t throwing away money you could be saving for a hobby you want to do in the future.
So whether it’s baking, writing, painting, or whatever, pull out your planner and carve out some time. I always feel so calm and focused after I bake something and it ultimately helps me throughout my work week (plus I get delicious snacks!). A creative habit is a powerful tool!
What creative habit are you trying to start?